Blizzard plans to take over the world

(from the “it’s-funny-laugh” department)

Over the weekend, we had the announcement of “Diablo 3”, the new game from Blizzard. Blizzard is famous for its “World of Warcraft” franchise, which is about to get a new expansion, “Wrath of the Lich King” in a non-announced time. Blizzard is also working on “StarCraft 2”, so popular on Asian countries that they held competitions which could rival the Olympics.

Now… Can anyone imagine what would happen if Blizzard announced that those three releases would happen in the same day?

First of all, Asian markets would stop ’cause everybody and their mums would buy StarCraft 2 and start playing. American economy and parts of Europe would also come to halt due Wrath of the Lich King (and everybody racing to be the first reaching level 80 with their Death Knights.) The few pockets of resistance would be smashed by Diablo 3.

Governments, in desperation, would pay Blizzard to remove copies of their games from the market.

Back to Basics Redux

I think I nailed why I thought Diablo 3 looked like an updated Dungeon Siege: It’s the jungle. The first level on Dungeon Siege is in a jungle and they look a little bit like each other. Other than that, I don’t think there are many similarities.

Also, one thing said in the presentation isn’t actually new: changing your attack with the mouse wheel. From what I got in the presentation, you can change your attack just using the mouse wheel or the tab key. On Diablo 2, you could do the same thing: you could assign a key to an attack (up to 10, IIRC, all defaultly binded to the function keys); using the mouse wheel would change the attack on one of the mouse buttons to the next one (I can’t really remember what would happen when you assign keys on different sides.) Anyway, I don’t think Blizzard would say something is new when it isn’t actually, so I’m guessing the systems doesn’t behave like in Diablo 2.

Still waiting for the release date. ;)

Back to Basics

On my teen years, when internet was something you could only use at uni (at 2400bps), I would spent my gaming time playing one of Blizzard’s first games: Diablo.

I would play it over and over again, till I could finish and play on the next difficulty level. I would try to make characters use the wrong weapons (giving a sword to an archer or a bow to the warrior), just to see how the game would be (one word: “hard”.) And then it came Diablo II, which make me carry my computer (you know, those big, bulky ones in creme colour) to friend’s houses, just to play together and kill Diablo. And, later, with the “Lord of Destruction” expansion, play even more.

But time passes and, even as fun as it is, Diablo II graphics look… old. I get a claustrophobic feeling running Diablo at its 800×600 resolution on a monitor capable of 1440×900 (or even more.)

Which brings us to three days ago.

I don’t know why, but I decided to check Blizzard’s website. That’s when I saw the ice pattern melting and a facing appearing. My first guess went directly to World of Warcraft, as the new expansion “Wrath of the Lich King” is about to be released. But the rumours in the internet were saying “Diablo 3” and, last time, when nobody expected it would be a StarCraft II, the same sites were saying that: The game Blizzard will announce is “StarCraft II”. And they were right.

I really wished Blizzard would announce Diablo 3. But deep down my senses told me it was the new expansion being officially available to everyone (willing to pay.)

And today, while trying to install Trac on my new website (which I’d probably announce what it is for in a few days) and getting constant issues, I decided to check Blizzard website, where I found they would be livestreaming the event. Because I needed some time to focus on something else, i decided to try to install the player and see what was going on. Unbelievably, I managed to connect at the very start of the presentation. They shown a little bit of last year presentation and then I heard the words:

“And now, I’m honoured to present you Blizzard new game.”

Stage went dark. Then red lights. And a guy with a guitar. And the song, I recognized it straight away: it was Diablo 1 theme song. And, if there was still some doubts, they played a video of some scenes, where you could clearly see Tyrael. And man, I knew it was true, after all: Diablo 3 is coming.

When the shock was over, they decided to show you the game. I know it’s a development version and things may change and I’ll eat my own words in the future, but I can say two things:

1) They kept it faithful to the original.
2) They kept it faithful to the original.

Why I’m pointing it twice? ‘Cause… I don’t know, maybe I was expecting something bigger. Graphics are gorgeous, but you wouldn’t expect anything less than that form Blizzard. But the whole game looks like an updated version of Dungeon Siege (which was basically another version of Diablo.) Physics were available in games for a long time already, so it’s not new, although I can’t remember any hack-‘n’-slash game with that feature.

But, no matter what, I’ll play it. Even if I’ll have to buy a new computer.

PS: Be sure to check the website. The full presentation is available.

links for 2008-06-28

From Queries to ORMs

Let me start this by saying that I know I’m trying to do the thing in the reverse way, but what the heck! ;)

So, a few months ago I decided to write the queries for my Web Gallery application. Why? ‘Cause I had no idea how to do it and I think it’s fun to play directly with SQL. Honestly, I couldn’t find a way, but asking some friends, we did come with a good solution. All of the queries are quite simple, except for this one (the one that retrieves all URLs [soon to be replaced by pics] which have a set of tags):

select urls.url, urls.description, from urls where (select count(1) from relation where relation.url = and relation.tag in (%s)) >= %d

[The “%s” is the list of tags and the “%d” is the number of tags]

So, this query works perfectly fine. But we are in the times of Web 2.0, where no one writes queries anymore and queries are like black magic and stuff. So yes, I’m thinking about using an ORM, but I can’t see how one ORM would be capable to reaching the same solution (or a better one) for that.

I just got to a point where I don’t believe an ORM would be capable of reaching a sane solution for what I want and I think it’s stupid to import and ORM into my project just to insert a direct query.